News: Thai, U.S. Marines build relationships through engineering project
Story by Pfc. Mike Granahan
TRAT PROVINCE, Kingdom of Thailand— Thai Marines worked alongside U.S. Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 and civilian volunteers from the region to help construct an addition to a school in Trat province, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 13 as a part of ongoing humanitarian and civic assistance projects during exercise Cobra Gold 2013.
The Thai and U.S. Marines came together seamlessly and have worked well together throughout the construction of the addition, according to said Chanuwat Sudsakom, the director of Anubarn Wat Nam Chiao School in Trat province.
“They work well together, and they are very cooperative and they show solidarity,” said Sudsakom.
During the construction process, both the Thai and U.S. Marines have been able to learn from each other, and through their interaction, create a more efficient construction process, added U.S. Marine Cpl. Brandon T. Bolyard, a heavy equipment mechanic with MWSS-172, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“We have established a very efficient and productive system. We learned things from them, and they learned things from us,” said Bolyard. “Working with the Thai Marines has been a lot of fun.”
The Thai Marines have enjoyed learning techniques from U.S. Marines such as how to incorporate technologies and procedures that are different from that of their own. The information sharing has increased the two forces’ interoperability, explained Thai Marine Lt. Ekkapop Thalodthaisong, the officer in charge of the Thai Marine Combat Engineer Battalion, Royal Thai Marines.
“This is a very good opportunity to learn with the U.S. Marines,” said Thalodthaisong. “They have brought new technology and knowledge with them.”
The Thai people were excited to see Thai and U.S. Marines come together for this project to provide a new building because it will provide great opportunities for the students, according to Sudsakom.
“This province is thankful because it is in need of this kind of support,” continued Sudsakom. “Interaction like this should be encouraged and continued.”
The Thai and U.S. Marines were glad to be providing a service to the community by creating a place where children increase their education, according to Bolyard.
“It’s very humbling and heart warming to be able to provide children a place where they can receive their education,” said Bolyard.
U.S. involvement in CG 13 demonstrates commitment to building military-to-military interoperability with participating nations and to supporting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region